UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on May 1
(Adds futures, news)
LONDON May 1 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 5 points higher, or 0.07 percent, according to financial bookmakers. Futures for the index are up 0.2 percent by 0639 GMT.
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.2 percent higher at 6,780.03 points in the previous session after hitting an intraday peak of 6,794.88, the highest level since early March.
* Trading volumes are likely to be thin as other stock markets in Europe are closed for the May Day holiday.
* LLOYDS BANKING GROUP - The bank reported a 22 percent increase in first-quarter pretax profit and said it continued to expect to apply for permission in the second half of the year to restart dividend payments.
* BG - Britain's third-biggest oil and gas company reported a 6 percent fall in first-quarter operating profit as it struggled with lower output and continued troubles at its Egyptian liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant.
* ROLLS-ROYCE - The company said it was on track to report flat revenue and profit in 2014, in line with an earlier forecast, and said that a one-off charge in its marine unit meant that its performance would be weighted to the second half.
* BSKYB - British pay-TV operator BSkyB added 74,000 net new TV customers in the third quarter, more than double the growth it recorded last year, as it shrugged off the competition from BT.
* SCHRODERS - The British fund manager said assets under management rose to a record 268 billion pounds ($452.53 billion) in the first quarter of 2014 after it took in new money across a range of products.
* WEIR GROUP - The British engineer said it remained on track for a return to growth this year as demand for oil and gas equipment and services outstripped sluggish mining orders in the first quarter.
* British house prices rose much faster than expected last month to record their biggest annual rise since the start of the financial crisis, data from mortgage lender Nationwide showed on Thursday.
* SMITH & NEPHEW - Europe's largest maker of artificial joints posted a 5 percent drop in underlying trading profit.
* The Dow Jones industrial average closed at its first record high of 2014 on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve gave an upbeat view of the economy's prospects as it announced another cut to its massive bond-buying programme.
* The Fed said in a statement it would reduce its monthly bond purchases to $45 billion from $55 billion, as expected. That will keep it on track to end the programme as soon as October.
* RECKITT BENCKISER - The company is no longer in active talks with Merck & Co about buying its consumer health business, it said on Wednesday.
* London copper slipped to a seven-session low on Thursday after China's manufacturing sector showed a slight improvement in April but missed forecasts, while prices were set to drift with top consumer China on a two-day break.
* Brent crude eased down towards $108 a barrel, not far above its lowest in more than two weeks, as a potential rise in Libya's oil supply and record-high inventories in the United States weighed on prices.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Atul Prakash, editing by Tricia Wright)
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